How to downgrade from iOS 8 beta back to iOS 7

How to downgrade from iOS 8 beta back to iOS 7

If you installed a beta version of iOS 8 on your iPhone or iPad and now find yourself thinking the bugs and crashes are more than you bargained for, you may want to return to iOS 7 again. Luckily, the downgrade process is fairly straight forward and simple. However, it does come with a few caveats...

What you need to downgrade from iOS 8 beta to iOS 7.1.1

In order to downgrade to iOS 7.1.1 from iOS 8, you'll only need the following:

  • A PC or Mac running the most recent version of iTunes — 11.2.2 is the current version

Warning: You may lose all your data

Before beginning, it's very important to understand that you will lose all your data from iOS 8. You can not restore from an iOS 8 backup on iOS 7. If you have an older iCloud or iTunes backup from iOS 7, you can restore to that. However, if you only have an iOS 8 backup now, you won't be able to use it, so keep that in mind.

How to downgrade from an iOS 8 beta to iOS 7.1.1 official

  1. Turn your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 off.
  2. Hold down the Home button and plug it into your computer. Keep holding the Home button until you see a screen telling you to connect to iTunes.
  3. iTunes should show you a popup saying that there is an iPhone or iPad that is in Recovery Mode and needs to be restored before you can use it. Click OK.
  4. Click on Restore iPhone... — or Restore iPad if that's what you're using.
  5. A popup will appear asking if you're sure you'd like to restore the iPhone or iPad in question. Click on Restore and Update.
  6. iTunes will then download the most recent official firmware and install it — which in this case will be iOS 7.1.1.
  7. That should be it. Once your iPhone or iPad reboots you should be back on iOS 7.1.1 again.

How to downgrade to iOS 7.1.1 from iOS 8 beta on iPhone and iPadHow to downgrade to iOS 7.1.1 from iOS 8 beta on iPhone and iPadHow to downgrade to iOS 7.1.1 from iOS 8 beta on iPhone and iPad

Keep in mind that you can't install to a previous version of iOS 7 since 7.1.1 is the only one Apple is currently signing. This is the reason that this process currently works. It will cease to work once the iOS 8 official comes out this fall, so keep that in mind if you think you aren't going to want to keep iOS 8.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to downgrade from iOS 8 beta back to iOS 7


Thats what I am waiting on. I'd rather wait 30-45 days into the beta before trying it out. As much as I wanna play with the new features right away, the bugs are just not worth it.

I have iOS 8 on my iPod Touch, there isn't anything in this update worth talking about...I haven't experienced any bugs apart from it freezing and crashing every now and again but I have always had that problem with every iPod Touch I've for me there is nothing new...this update is mainly for developers, lets just hope that they the developers can deliver by utilising the new API's

I'm using the beta of iOS 8 and to be honest it's quite stable. And it definitely is (understandably) more stable than iOS 7 beta 1.
A few top apps which crash incessantly are What's App and music app. Otherwise All seems well.

I'm unable to use the handouts feature coz I have a mid 2009 MBP with Yosemite. Wonder if I need to get a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle to get that to work. SMS works great but rest of the handouts protocol don't work.

Any ideas please ?

Fairly sure you need BT 4.0 LE, not sure if a 4.0 dongle would solve it.. have not heard of anyone trying yet.. There was a video of Handoff in use on youTube and he disabled BT to show Handoff stopped working w/o BT..

You CAN restore a newer iOS backup to an older iOS (8.x -> 7.1.1 for example) if the backup is done in iTunes. (iCloud not editable)

1. All you have to do is locate the backup file that you want to restore to iOS 7.1.1
Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
The "~" represents your Home folder. If you don't see Library in your home folder, hold Option and click the Go menu.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
(To quickly access the AppData folder, click Start. In the search bar, type %appdata% and press Return.)

2. In the folder of the backup open with .

3. Locate Product Version 8.x

4. Change "8.x" (depending on which version you're downgrading from) to "7.1.1" and change the build number to "11D201".

5. Save the file, and "restore from backup" in iTunes as normal.

Sent from the iMore App

...sorry, the iMore app deleted some text... Trying step 2+ again.

2. In the folder of the backup open "info.plist" with "text edit"

3. Locate: "Product Version" / "8.x "

4. Change "8.x" (depending on which version you're downgrading from) to "7.1.1" and change the build number to "11D201".

5. Save the file, and "restore from backup" in iTunes as normal.

Sent from the iMore App

When you say build number, do you mean build version? I changed it but I can't restore from this backup, it say it's corrupt.

I have tried this, but I get the error "... could not start the session.... ". Is there anything else than the 'Product Version' and 'Build Version' that needs to be changed?

Tried, iTunes gives an error that the backup is either corrupt or incompatible with the iPhone

restoring a backup from iOS 8 (iPhone 5s) - to- iOS 7.1.2 (iPhone 4)

iOS 8 is actually more stable than pretty much every iOS 7 beta (which makes sense) but honestly there just isn't much to be excited about. The interactive notifications feature is nice as is predictive text and so on. That may be why it's so stable: it's not MUCH different than iOS 7.1. Still, nice article and love the OS!

Sent from the iMore App

I'm currently on iOS on iPhone 5s. I did register my UDID, so that's something that you should consider doing. Quick reply is amazing.

Downside is that it decreases your battery life.

Sent from the iMore App

That's interesting. I too am running it on my iPhone 5s and have noticed no change at all in my battery life (which remains quite good).

Has anyone using iOS 8 beta on ipad (any rev) noticed if the tabs still have to reload after switching off, then back on?
In 7.1.1- I have open in one tab, open another tab and go to If I go back to the first tab, it has to reload. If I then go back to the 2nd tab, it now has to reload. Ridiculous. Especially if I'm typing in a comment, switch tabs, go back, reloads, and my entire entry is gone.

If iOS 8 beta fixes this, I will certainly risk the other bugs.
Thanks in advance.

These steps described here are not at all correct. I'm unable to downgrade to ios 7.1.1

Read Me Before Downloading
Be sure to backup your devices using the latest version iTunes or through iCloud backup prior to installing iOS 8 beta. After installing iOS 8 beta, you can restore your device using either the latest version of iTunes or through your iCloud backup.
This version of iOS is intended only for installation on development devices registered with Apple's Developer Program. Attempting to install this version of iOS in an unauthorized manner could put your device in an unusable state, which could necessitate an out of warranty repair.
Devices updated to iOS 8 beta can not be restored to earlier versions of iOS. Only registered development devices will be able to upgrade to future beta releases and the final iOS software.
To determine the proper download for your iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5, click here. To determine the proper download for your iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPad (4th generation), click here.
You can now submit bug reports directly to Apple's bug tracking system using the built-in Bug Reporter app. You can find Bug Reporter in Notification Center in iOS 8 beta.
Use of Family Sharing in iOS 8 beta is subject to the Family Sharing terms. Learn more about Family Sharing here.
Xcode 6 beta, iOS 8 beta, and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview are pre-release software. Your use is subject to and licensed only under the terms and conditions of the iOS Developer Program License Agreement ("iOS PLA"), including any applicable consent to collect diagnostic data set forth therein. If you have not agreed to the iOS PLA, you are not permitted to use this software.

Pointless article. If you aren't a dev you shouldn't have the beta. If you ARE a dev, then you already know how to do this.

What? I have multiple phones and a phone enthusiast. I like to try out new stuff and have the money to pay the $99 for apple. I see no reason why you can't try iOS beta if you are dev. While Im a dev just not iOS doesn't mean people can't try the beta. Obviously not as a main phone, but if you have phones lying around and have the cash then why not.

I downgraded back to 7.1 with absolutely no problem and retrieved all my info from a backup done right before I upgraded. It's very easy.

Sent from the iMore App

I've not found the iOS 8 beta to be stable? My touch ID isn't working at all? and various other bugs that make me want to revert to a backup from iOS7.

However, I've tried twice following the directions, and it goes through the process of restoring, but after it's finished, it is still 8.0?

Any suggestions?

Thanks...tried the beta, going back to 7.1.1 since I can't keep using my M8 as my main phone. Will come back again to check how stable the next beta is.

Well crap. I tried 8 on my 5S, and it works all right, but Lastpass does not work at all. I decided to downgrade back to iOS 7, but it didn't work. It's stuck on the apple logo with the bar halfway across.

Thanks, I eagerly installed Beta 1 which was a nightmare and Beta 2 which is a tad better, but LINE and many others don't work, so thanks again for this bit of info.

Nice article, lovely screencaps.....too bad it doesn't work! At least not with a 2013 MBA and iPhone 5 running iOs 8 beta 2. Tried multiple times.

Except every time with my iphone and my fiances when i revert back to iOs7 and try to restore from my ios 7 icloud backup it just says cannot restore from this backup both of our phones, i even tried DFU to see if there was a glitch but there was nothing. And we have seperate accounts.

I wasn't able to get the final beta for iPad. continuously got a warning that my version of iOS 8 beta would expire and it did. So i used this article to roll back to iOS 7.1.1 and so far so good. Thanks for the info. Now, I'm curious, any other devs unable to grab 8.3 for iPad?

yes, im is too :( my icloud cant activeted, i try to restore, but the "restoring iphone firmware" cant work T_T. An Unknow error occured (3)

I successfully went back to iOS 7 from iOS 8 on my iPad 3, which didn't do well with the newest iOS. I also read that I can restore my apps to the iPad that are still gone by using iTunes and the Restore Backup option.

However, I keep getting a message that a session could not be started with the iPad.

MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013), OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)

How long will it take to downgrade? Because I have waited for more than a Hour but nothing happened. I am unable to turn on my iPhone itself. Any suggestions?